Posts in category: Creativity

Vaclav Smil nuggets

Vaclav Smil nuggets

My highlights from a Wired interview with Vaclav Smil: This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading. the demise of US manufacturing dooms the country not just intellectually but creatively, because innovation is tied to the process of making...

Resource: What is strategic design

Strategic design is the initial exploration, understanding and planning part. Executional design then follows to implement the final solutions. … Strategic designers are the meta-design people you hire before you hire the executional designers. Read more here:...
Maybe you need a project designer?

Maybe you need a project designer?

I think some projects are missing a crucial role in the form of a Project Designer. Management stakeholders/sponsors aside, you typically have the project visionary who carries the big-picture, driving vision for the project, and the expert implementers who are tasked...

What’s your problem?

Designers love a good problem to chew on. Design is by its nature a problem solving activity. How can we make something better? How can we make a process less painful and more effective? How can we make a space both beautiful and useful? I get bored when I don’t...

Whole-self, not wholesale

One of the greatest gift of working for myself is that I can create client relationships where I am able to bring my whole self to work. Bringing my whole self makes things easier as I can just be me. I don’t need to pretend to be who I am not. This enables more...
Going to the extreme

Going to the extreme

Sometimes, taking a train of thought to the extreme can reveal new ideas and opportunities. First we had bumper stickers. image from StuffWhitePeopleLike. Then we have mobile billboards. image from banbillboardblight.org. (Not that this diminishes my abhorrence of...

Inspiration fatigue

I had a great day at TEDxPerth recently. Until I got inspiration fatigue towards the end. Inspiration is great. But inspiration alone is not generative. it does not produce any outcomes. Actions are what matter. So what is the conversion rate from inspiration to...
Past vs future focused

Past vs future focused

We can live in the past or the future. We can also make decisions based on what has gone before, or what is potentially ahead. Making decisions on the past means asking: Where have I been? What did I do? Was that the right thing to do? Do the numbers support me?...

Innovation is…

The practicable, and often surprisingly elegant outcome from a creative and strengths-based problem-solving process.

Blind beliefs

The simplistic, unchanging nature of unquestioned beliefs is attractive because we are fearful and lazy. Beliefs protect us from having to confront the vast unknowns out there. Because we want simple and enduring sureties. And because we know we will never know it...
Work is serial monogamy

Work is serial monogamy

“All white-collar work is project work. The single salient fact that touches all of our lives is that work is being reinvented.” — Tom Peters Thinking of work as a series of projects is like serial monogamy: a string of sequential commitments to different...

Coping with disruptions

In an interdependent system with established rules, a player can disrupt it by consistently acting contrary to the rules. To the point where no one wins and the system breaks down. I played my first game of Billionaire recently. I got the rules mixed up. Instead of...

Be curious, be happy!

Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness … requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Happy people, are, simply put, curious. … Yet curiosity—that pulsing, eager state of not...

Co-design vs design by committee

Co-design is not the same as design by committee. There are similarities. Especially in the wide stakeholder consultation/involvement. Co-design: There is still a designer (or a design tean with a design lead) who makes experience and expertise driven decisions...

What is vs what if

Just one letter makes a universe of difference; between being open to new ideas our close to all possibilities. WHAT IS is close. This is how everything is. This is reality. This is how it has always been, and will always be. This is right. WHAT IF is open....

Killing inspiration

How often do we conspire to kill our inspiration without giving it asecond thought? Some of the ways we nip sources of inspiration in the bud: Jumping into assumptions; and drawing premature conclusions. Defending assumptions or beliefs as absolute facts. Being to be...

John Cleese on being creative

Invest the time and watch/listen to this video. Here are the key points that called out to me. I have put everything in a block quote because I’m not sure how much of the following was ad verbatim or paraphrased. People function in two modes: open and closed....

Cultural tolerance and creativity

Given creativity often involves challenging conventions, and asking questions outside of the norm, the level of tolerance a society has for difference must necessarily affect the creativity of its denizens. It is not surprising that Tolerance is one of Richard...

Hofstede’s Uncertainty Avoidance Index

In my previous post Cultural barriers to innovation, I reflected on how cultures that are less tolerant of uncertainty, ambiguity and diversity, are less able to innovate. One of Geert Hofstede’s five Cultural Dimensions is the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI). The...

Video: Workplace Bullying

Bullying is a serious threat to an organisation’s ability to innovate, attract, leverage and retain talent. It is a leadership, HR and social responsibility challenge. This brilliant video is a great introduction to this insidious problem. It is important to...
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